Contact center agents are perhaps the most important assets within the contact center. The twist is that these agents can also be the contact centers biggest liability. The question for the contact center is how to effectively identify those that can add value to the center instead of creating a customer service nightmare.
One of the most effective methods for identifying those individuals who can perform in the contact center is to adequately screen them ahead of time. Such screening goes beyond standard questions and background checks and actually puts the potential agent in a simulation that mimics the activities of the typical contact center agent.
Putting potential contact center agents in situations that allow them to play the part of the contact center agent allows the hiring manager to evaluate the candidate in the environment he or she will be expected to perform in to complete the tasks of the job.
One such solution is the CC Audition from FurstPerson. This simulated customer contact solution creates a realistic job simulation that delivers real world results. This solution was developed on a new rapid simulation platform to allow for full rendered 3D environments, rich multimedia and interactive call scenarios. CC Audition is hosted by FurstPerson in a Web services environment and does not require software to be installed on testing computers.
The CC Audition solution involves candidates in a 35 minute simulation that includes an introduction, training session, three call scenarios and simulation exit. During this testing time, the solution measures computer ability, multi-tasking and customer service orientation.
The advantages of implementing such a solution go beyond evaluating the candidate, it can also enable the candidate to determine if they could enjoy working in a contact center environment, and then to self-screen out of the hiring process if necessary. This process also increases the probability that employees are a good fit or your contact center job.
The CC Audition also enables the call center to predict proficiency with call center systems and call control performance. It also allows the call center to predict the ability of the candidate to navigate computer systems, handle multiple tasks, react to training, accurately use customer information, and conduct sales activity.
Aside from the benefits that CC Audition provides to the call center, test takers also benefit from the experience. Of those that participated in a simulation, 93 percent rated it as effective or better as representative of working in a call center; 96 percent rated the graphical quality as effective or better; and 95 percent rated the customer scenario situations as effective or better.
Contact and call centers can go a long way to improve their hiring practices and reducing attrition if they are able to hire effective candidates that can deliver a strong performance while working in the center. Testing these candidates in an environment that simulates the normal tasks of the agent in the center is the most effective way to accurately evaluate future performance.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.